Medical Marijuana Practice Opens
One of the first doctors to open a medical marijuana practice in Ohio will be Neurologist, Andrew Kuntz, MD, when the State program is mandated by law to be fully functional on September 8.
Dr. Kuntz, who will see patients at University Suburban Health Center in suite 141 beginning Saturday, September 8, is certified by the State Medical Board of Ohio to recommend marijuana to patients who have one or more of 21 qualifying conditions – including severe pain, ALS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, Crohn’s disease, sickle cell anemia, and more.*
“Historically, marijuana or cannabis had been in use for thousands of years to treat medical conditions and could even be found in products in local drug stores until the 1930s,” says Dr. Kuntz. “Its criminalization began with the film Reefer Madness in 1936 and its use was further restricted when The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 placed a tax on the sale of cannabis and the doctors who prescribed it.
Although the Shafer Commission’s report in 1972 called for the de-criminalization of marijuana possession, it was largely ignored. It really was a patient-centered approach over many years that saw attitudes begin to change again. Today, it’s often seen as medicine that helps people who suffer from a variety of health issues,” he says. “Medical marijuana is currently legal in 30 US states and Canada. California legalized it more than 20 years ago.”
Patients with one of the 21 qualifying conditions, may ask their practitioners for a referral to Dr. Kuntz or may refer themselves as long as they can show documentation of the diagnosis for at least one of the qualifying conditions. Insurance does not currently cover Medical Marijuana.
Once medical marijuana is recommended by a doctor who holds a Certificate to Recommend (CTR), patients can purchase it at a licensed retail dispensary, as Ohio law doesn’t allow certified doctors to possess medical marijuana within the practice.
Medical marijuana can be used in different forms: oils, tinctures, plant materials, edibles and patches. Vaping is also permitted, but not smoking.
Medical Marijuana will be the topic of a Community Health talk on Wednesday, August 29, 2018 at 7 p.m. in room A64. Sign up here.
*Qualifying Conditions in Ohio:
AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy or other another seizure disorder, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, pain that is either severe or intractable, Parkinson’s disease, positive status for HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, and ulcerative colitis.